Home Made Yoghurt


  • 1 gallon 2% milk (or whatever percentage you like) – the amount of milk is up to you and the size of the pot.
  • Starter yoghurt (4 – 8 oz) – your favorite brand

Necessary equipment:

  • Digital yoghurt thermometer
  • Double boiler (I use a pot inside a larger pot)
  • Electric heating pad
  • Bath towel
  • Whisk
  • Spoon


  • double_boiler1Add milk in smaller pot
  • Put smaller pot in larger pot which has enough water so it doesn’t spill over into the smaller pot when you put it in.  I put a small spacer under the smaller pot.
  • Put larger pot (with smaller pot in it) on stove
  • Heat on high until thermometer in milk registers 185 degrees F You will need to stir this fairly frequently
  • thermo_185At this point I lower the heat so I can maintain the 185 temperature, and will keep it at 185 for an additional 30 minutes. I find that the more you do this, the more it contributes to the thickness of the final product (Note: if you plan to strain and make greek yoghurt [below], you do not need to do the additional 30 minutes)
  • Transfer smaller pot and thermometer to your sink (full of cold water)
  • cool_downStir regularly until temperature drops to 110 degrees
  • Remover pot from sink.
  • Add your starter yoghurt and whisk until it is completely blended
  • Cover pot with lid
  • On countertop lay out the bath towel (any reasonably large towel will do)
  • towel_padPlace heating pad on top of towel
  • Put pot on top of heating pad
  • Wrap the towel/heating pad so the towel completely surrounds the pot – avoid any gaps, etc.
  • Plug heating pad in. The heating pad I have has three settings – I have it at the middle setting.
  • Leave for 7 hours
  • Remove from towel/heating pad
  • pot_on_towelDrain off any water (whey) from the yoghurt – being careful not to pour off your yoghurt! (the whey can be saved for baking or other recipes if you wish)
  • Whisk until completely smooth
  • Pour off into containers (I use old 1 quart plastic yoghurt containers and/or 1 quart glass mason jars.
  • (If you added extra milk above – pour this into a small separate container for your next batches starter)
  • pot_wrappedRefrigerate yoghurt

Note: The extra heating time mentioned in the directions seems to contribute greatly to the thickness. Yoghurt creates lactic acid as a by-product, which gives the yoghurt a “tang”. The longer you leave it in the towel, the “tangier” the result. I’ve left it in the towel for longer periods of time, but 7 hours seems to work well.

I have seen directions where instead of heating pad/towel, you place the yogurt in open containers in a covered styrofoam picnic container with either a light bulb or jars of boiled water – the heating pad/towel works for me.  Note that you can ramp this up in volume – you’re only restricted by the size of your double boiler.

I usually sweeten the yoghurt with maple syrup in single servings when I eat it.

Greek Yoghurt

Yoghurt strainer
Yoghurt Strainer

Greek yoghurt is not a particular yoghurt culture – it’s yoghurt which is strained to make it thicker.  I have seen instructions which involve using fine cheesecloth to strain the yoghurt – but have found that that’s messy, and leaves a lot of yoghurt left embedded in the cheesecloth.  I found a yoghurt strainer – runs about $19 dollars at Amazon.  You put two quarts of yoghurt into the strainer at a time – I allow it to strain overnight.  Then using a soft rubber spatula you remove the yoghurt into your containers.  You can allow it to strain longer – resulting in a very thick consistency – good for spreads/dips.

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